I’ve never posted this picture because I always considered it such a painful failure. To focus the camera quickly enough. And it really bothered me for a long time. But now looking at it, I just remember the incredible moment, the light, the beauty and I don’t remember the pain of failure so much anymore.
Originally posted on 50'Lux:
I think images should require something from the person who is looking upon them. A photograph doesn’t or shouldn’t have to be obvious in order to be something that holds some value. I think this image could be taken as an example of that. I don’t want to say much more about the picture itself. It either makes a statement to you or it doesn’t. It made a statement to me.
Now it has a sequel. The top image was shot almost a year ago and was taken with the Zeiss 50mm Sonnar 1.5. I think the color representation of that lens is evident in the image. That lens is just stellar and classic. The second image, the one at the bottom of this post, was taken with the Leica 50mm Summilux 1.4 ASPH, and I think the color signature of that lens is also amazingly evident in this shot.
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Getting back to some Leica photography. The date has been announced for the annual Fashion’s Night Out 2012 and it is September 6th.
Sooo… this entry today here at 50lux.com has a triple purpose.
First, I would like to give Leica and other lowlight shooters a heads-up to the coming FNO extravaganza, Vogue Magazine’s world-wide phenomena and to let you all know that this very impressive event is probably coming to a city somewhere near you.
It’s an incredible opportunity to get out and photograph great style and beauty and all in the vibrant colors and exact low-light conditions where our super-fast Leica glass really shows its stuff.
Second, of course, I want to showcase my own humble efforts in that regard from last year. All the images you see here were shot on film, with my trusty M7. Mostly with a Zeiss 50mm Sonnar f1.5 mounted, but there’s more than a few with the Leica 35mm Summicron 2.0 ASPH. Also shot mostly Kodak 800 Ultramax film but I also put a couple of rolls of TMAX 32oo through the M7 which I will post in a few days.
But now, and thirdly, I’m also going to turn my attention to a gentle constructive review of the event itself with the hope that this critique will find whomever might be in the organizing group planning this year’s festivities in Beverly Hills, where the FNO event I attended took place. You’ll get an idea of why I would want to get this into their hands if you read on.
Okay, right up front I should say that my attending last year’s Fashion’s Night Out in Beverly Hills event was for the sole purpose of shooting some frames of fast film with some even faster Leica and Zeiss glass mounted on my M7.
But I’m a critical sort. So in between trying to catch some of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen in my camera’s viewfinder, I did manage to cast a critical eye towards the event itself.
First, I think it’s a great idea. I’m a photographer. I love beauty and fashion. I have no connection, however, with the beauty or fashion industry as a photographer, or in any other way except as a admiring male who doesn’t leer from behind a camera.
Much. Come on, I am perfectly capable of taking a great picture of a beautiful woman without leering. In theory.
Anyway, I didn’t attend the event in 2010 so I have no reference point to compare 2011 with the previous year. But I was surprised at how little there was actually going on at this event on the very premier boulevard of shopping and fashion: Rodeo of Beverly Hills.
Not to be overly critical, but I expected many small continuous fashion shows outside of some of the major trendy stores. A little more effort from the big fashion houses. An appreciable media presence. A few big names.
Pretty much nothing like that here. There was a set up for a fashion show, so maybe I was late. Got there at 8:00 and the event was scheduled till 10:00. Stores were pretty much an indoor thing, just like any other day. Except this was night.
There was a makeover area which was certainly busy. A street portrait artist working in charcoal, I believe. Food was supplied by a handful of not very interesting food trucks. People were lounging on the curb eating.
At one or two of the stores, there was an actual doorman allowing entry to only, I supposed, an invited few. Nice touch there as some pretty fancy Beverly Hills wives were turned away. Ouch. I have pictures of that.
I’m sorry, BH. I just think this is a great idea that should be done with a little more attention to class and detail and results. The number of people in attendance clearly demonstrated that there is an appetite for this type of event right there on Rodeo Drive.
Come on, Beverly Hills, you can do much MUCH better than this.
That said, please enjoy the pictures.
Yeah. I know. :-) So let me tell you the story.
I get a call from a BET producer on a Friday night asking if I can go shoot an event for her at the Playboy Mansion the next night. It might come as a surprise to most people but the Playboy Mansion is the site of innumerable charity functions. I’ve been up there a number of times. Swam in the grotto pool. Blah blah blah.
But never, slow my rapidly beating heart, had I ever been there with a camera and a press credential.
So of course, I say yes! The problem, however, is that at that time in my life my health was absolutely miserable. So when the next day dawned blisteringly hot, I was both sick and apprehensive.
To get to these things at the Playboy Mansion you have to shuttle over. Actually they’re full-sized buses and you usually depart from a giant multi-level parking garage somewhere else on the Westside of Los Angeles. That was the case when I had my significant and dubious girlfriend of over three decades drop me off at the parking garage.
And I was still feeling very bad. And it was hot as Hades. I gave her strict instructions to be ‘on call’ cell phone on because I knew there’d be a long wait in a smothering parking garage and that I’d probably bail even before the first bus departed.
That was at 5:00 pm west coast time. Girlfriend didn’t hear from me again until near 1:00 am, when she found me lying on the sidewalk where she left me, drenched in sweat, with an absolutely stupid semi-permanent smile plastered on my half-crocked visage.
Yes. I was there a LONG time. I went through three or four different types of event photography all in one night. Red carpet. Long lens daylight candids. Available lowlight shooting. Standard event flash photography with the SB-800 and the 24-70 f2.8 Nikkor.
Lot of great stories. Met a lot of great people, believe it or not.
A pair of young female reporters for an online publication that covers charity events hooked up with me on the bus over. I guess this is when you know you’re getting old and harmless as a guy and maybe just a little pathetic. One of the girls was LOVELY. For a lot of the evening she carried my heavy camera back pack around for me. Are you kidding me? Nice girl, definitely not from L.A.
At one point in the dusky part of the early evening, after sundown but when there’s still some light in the air, and of course there’s plenty of lighting at the event, a heavily geared up Canon shooter came up to me while I was shooting with the 70-200 f2.8 Nikkor. This is in the early days of the D3. He was very irritated with me for some reason and he says, “You know you’re not getting anything with that lens in this light?”
That was right around the time the picture at the top of this post was taken. And this one.
I’m linking to a Flickr slideshow of the images that ended up being used not by BET but another publication. They might appear a little soft in the slideshow as they are only 800x on the long end. It’s the entire gallery of ‘safe’ images.
But I’m also including below a definitevly NSFW slideshow of images that have never been seen by anyone but myself. These are of body-painted girls and when I say NSFW I really mean it! These are not your father’s body-painted naked girls here.
It’s the Playboy Mansion. What’d you expect?